MSc thesis project proposal

Surgical contraceptive clip

Project outside the university

Opt Medical
Tubal ligation (Dutch: sterilisatie) is the most popular method of female contraception because it is hormone-free, highly effective and it is a one-time action. The major drawback of the method is that it requires surgery, which is always associated with health risks. Also, for many women in low-resource regions, surgery is not accessible due to economic or practical reasons. Opt Medical is a start-up with the ambition to improve access to tubal ligation, empowering women worldwide. Rather than planning a surgery for each woman who wants to have her tubes tied, Opt Medical offers delayed sterilisation using surgical clips that are implanted during a C-section, the most common surgery in low-resource settings. Each clip is a small medical implant that is placed - with consent- around the ovarian tubes during surgery (C-section) and has no effect until desired. After placement of the clips, women who do wish to get pregnant again have to take no action whatsoever; their fertility is not influenced by the implants. Whenever a women is sure that she never wants to get pregnant again, the clips are activated by a professional without surgery so that they occlude the fallopian tubes and effectively prevent future pregnancies. Delayed sterilisation will reduce the physical risk associated with tubal ligation surgery, improve the access to a permanent family planning method and allow women to take control over their fertility by giving them time to make a well-informed decision. This will contribute to reduced rates of maternal and neonatal death, improved educational prospects for women and better odds for rising above the poverty line.

Assignment

You will contribute to improvement of the clip. Various assignments are available based on your interest and experience, for example:
- safe and effective propagation of electromagnetic fields within the body
- optimisation of circuits for wireless power transfer and feedback
- modular design of a low-cost, robust activator for a hot, humid environment that works with different power sources

Requirements

- independent and pragmatic approach
- background in biomedical engineering and/or electronics engineering or similar relevant knowledge
- strong research and experimental skills
- ambitious and result-oriented
- affinity for design for low-resource settings

Contact

prof.dr. Paddy French

Bioelectronics Group

Department of Microelectronics

Last modified: 2018-04-20